Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Brooklyn Fare: One of the Greatest Dinners Ever!

It has taken forever to get around to writing this - mainly because I think I am still so utterly blown away by the incredible performance of Chef Cesar Ramirez at our recent dinner there. Not only did every dish present perfectly detailed, precise and complex arrangements of texture, temperature, and flavors, there was also the whole laid back experience of this tiny incredible restaurant. I am sure there are moments of chaos and hours of prep, but the whole night unfolded seamlessly as Chef Ramirez and his team of two assembled each creation right before our very eyes. All this is accomplished with a calm, cool demeanor and a running commentary on the food, his philosophy, family, influences, and how he ended up in an unassuming prep kitchen in a small (but nice!) market in Brooklyn creating  one of the  best meals I have ever had. To go into excruciating detail on the taste and flavor of each dish would be pointless and could never do the Chef justice - I just don't have the words to do it.  All organic, fresh ingredients, all impeccably prepared. You simply have to find a way to go and experience it for yourself - but don't wait - it's booked pretty solid and then closing in summer for some period of time to add a few seats, some new inspirations,  a wine list, and according to Chef Ramirez, to make it even better. Is it possible? I look forward to finding out! 

Brooklyn Fare
220 Schermerhorn Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201

While the Chef prefers no cameras, no cell phones, and that you simply focus on enjoying  the experience, I did  bend the rules  a little and take some brief  notes just so I wouldn't forget anything!  Chef also relented and allowed a group photo at the end! Here's what we had, all the wine in magnum except the Sauternes. Again, mere words don't do justice: the nuance, brilliance and perfection of these dishes simply has to be experienced. I would love it if any of the team who was there wants to elaborate - leave a comment!  A note: we were forewarned by Joe to bring lots of white. Flavors here are really suited to whites, and his touch with fish is unbelievable.

Les Vins
Rodez Cuvee Crayeres Brut Champane
Demeric Catherine de Medici Brut Champagne
Bzikot Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Folatieres 2001
Bouchard Corton Charlemagne Grand Cru 1999
Sinskey Pinot Blanc 2008
Levet Chavaroche Cote Rotie 1999
Raymond Lafond Sauterne 1986

Warm Beet soup and Hudson Valley fois gras  (delicious little hand warmers!)
Sardine in a potato crisp with sage
Crab with a sort of shredded crispy phyllo
Blue Fin Toro with mustard and crispy leeks
Kumomoto Oyster grapefruit creme fraiche, and a thin sliver of translucent oyster juice gelee
New Zealand Langoustine, saffron sauce
Hamachi, apple, celery root, lemon puree
Baby Japanese Shrimp Jalapeno, caviar
King crab, caviar, vanilla and fine diced pineapple (compote the right word?) - off the charts!
Duck fry/frites? (guess what part of the duck? Not near the top shall we say)
Fois Gras (hate to call these "balls" after the last dish, but they were - little and round, crispy outside and melted and mouth filling inside)
Cod creme (not a mousse, more velvety), black truffle - (one of the best things I have ever eaten, but there were many tonight!!)

Main Dishes
Dayboat scallop, pork belly, white truffle mousse, black trumpet mushroom
Monkfish, fois gras, parsley root, chanterelle creme, wrapped in a wilted green of some sort - wow!!
Rouget, escargot, razor clam, Iranian saffron
Porcelet (little baby milk fed pig, thin sliced, oh so delicate), mustard seed, kumquat sauce

Banana parfait
Creme caramel

Finally a big thanks to Joe Bembry for bringing us out of the 'burbs to Brooklyn on a cold, raw night for an exceptional experience. Nous vous en remercions!


  1. All I can say is "Wow"! And I never said "Wow" so often in one evening. Ramirez is a genius and I was just happy to be there and witness it first-hand. Well done, MW!

  2. So well written, Chris. But even then, words really can't describe the genius that was behind each plate. I am so grateful that I was part of the evening - and my favorites, if I was forced to choose, were the Kumomoto oyster, the King Crab with Vanilla, the Bakala Mouse with more truffles than I've ever consumed in my life time, and the Porcelet. Thanks for taking notes! ;)

  3. Chris, sounds phenomenal... though I was not there in person, I hope my little bottle was an adequate stand in. Cheers - Rob Sinskey

  4. Nita - our palates are definately in sync! Those were three of my favs!! And Rob, the Pinot Blanc wax great and perfect with the food!